Is Stretching a Real Form of Exercise?

You probably already know there are a ton of different factors that contribute to maintaining your health. Getting a full night’s rest, staying hydrated during the day, and eating well-balanced meals are the most commonly shared tips when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle, maintaining your heart health and nervous system. However, this is just scraping the surface, as there are so many other aspects of your body that need full support.

It’s not easy to maintain an ideal health, but paying attention to stiff joints and sore muscles will pay off in supporting you on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. One of the most fundamental aspects of physical therapy is stretching, and for good reason! Even though most people look at stretching as a pre-workout or post-workout activity, stretching actually has a long list of benefits that should be taken into account if you’re looking to improve your health.

Some of the basic benefits to stretching are as follows:

  1. It can improve your mental health. Stretching your muscles is very helpful in alleviating physical and mental tension.Alleviating tension in the muscles is helpful in alleviating tension in the mind. Yoga is a particularly popular form of stretching which focuses on mindfulness and meditation during stretching processes.
  2. It can help you prevent the need for surgery. Stretching provides our bodies with a means to keep our muscles warmed up and ready for exercise. This in turn decreases the chances of a muscle strain or sprain, and therefore also cuts down on the chance of you needing expensive surgery to repair the injury.
  3. Your range of motion will improve. Stretching regularly helps your muscles to extend fully, which can improve your range of motion over time! This means you’ll be more flexible, and it’s also very helpful with the prevention of injuries as well.
  4. It relieves muscle pain and tension. Stretching helps to alleviate muscle pain and discomfort throughout your body. Certain stretches are meant to help relieve back pain, some are meant for shoulder or neck pain, and so on. It’s a good idea to consult a physical therapist first about specific issues with pain before practicing targeted stretching exercises at home by yourself.
  5. Blood circulation will be improved. Your heart and musculoskeletal system will be improved by stretching regularly. Sometimes muscles can become extremely tight, and won’t receive enough oxygen. This can be painful. Stretching improves blood flow to your joints and muscles, further reducing your risk of being injured.

Getting Started With A Stretching Routine

Make sure when you start to stretch that you have plenty of space around you to move. Using a yoga mat is a great option to create a safe and supported area where you can gain traction easily. Remember to wear loose clothing so as not to constrict your limbs; you’ll be able to move much more freely!

As you stretch, remember to drink lots of water as well. Stretching might not feel like an intense exercise like running or doing push-ups, but it’s still very important to stay hydrated and support your muscles. To get more information on starting a good stretching routine, contact our office to make an appointment with a physical therapist. Contact us today! 

You Don’t Have To Live With Arthritis Pain. Physical Therapy Can Help!

Did you know that arthritis is one of the leading causes of joint pain? It’s true. Arthritis can come from pain in the ankles, knees, hands, elbows, or hips, and it can affect just about anyone! Sometimes it’s a pop in your knee as you descend a flight of stairs, or a painful crack in your fingers when you try to open a jar. There’s a good chance you won’t realize how much you depend on your joints to perform painlessly until you’re experiencing joint pain daily.

Arthritis affects more than 50 million American adults, and is also the leading cause of disability in the United States. Most people believe it’s something that people only experience with old age, but it can actually happen to anyone at any age! More than 300,000 children and infants in the United States alone are diagnosed with arthritis, and unfortunately, this is a struggle that many of these children have dealt with from birth.

One of the best treatments for pain caused by arthritis is physical therapy. Most people think that physical therapy is a treatment only suitable for those who have suffered an injury or have a chronic health condition, but this simply isn’t true. Using physical therapy for the treatment of arthritis pain is very effective and widely recommended.

4 Ways Physical Therapy Can Relieve Arthritis Pain:

  1. It targets your pain through specialized treatments. Hot and cold therapy, therapeutic massage, and chiropractic care all provide optimal pain relief from arthritis. Many physical therapists utilize these forms of therapy.
  2. Physical therapy improves muscle strength, which supports your joints. Weakness in the surrounding muscles can put extra stress on your joints, thereby causing you to experience more joint pain during the smallest movements, like writing or picking up an object.
  3. It improves your range of motion. Physical therapy is a great way to improve your range of motion, which in turn supports optimal joint functionality.
  4. Physical therapists are experts at targeting the source of joint pain. Occasionally arthritis pain may be triggered by an environmental factor. Working with an experienced physical therapist can provide insight into the cause of your pain. Your physical therapist can help you make adjustments to environmental factors to decrease your level of discomfort.

Arthritis can happen to anyone at any age. Though women are more likely to experience joint pain than men, statistics show almost two-thirds of people dealing with pain from arthritis are of working age. This means regardless of gender, those between the ages of 20 and 65 are actually at the greatest risk of developing this type of pain. Learning how to manage arthritis head on is important, and while pain medications can help to reduce the amount of pain you feel, pills don’t fix the problem. This is why physical therapy is commonly referred to as one of the best solutions for the treatment of arthritis joint pain.

If you are experiencing regular joint pain that is interrupting your life, then it’s time to look for help. No matter what age you are, the correct way to ensure that your treatment is right for your personal needs is to consult a physical therapist. The beauty of physical therapy is that it is targeted and personalized treatment created to meet your individual needs. Contact our office today for more information on setting up an appointment with a physical therapist, so you can get back to doing the things you love without arthritis pain.

Staying Healthy As We Age: The Importance of Physical Activity

It’s pretty common to be less active the older we get, but if we want to remain as healthy as possible, we must incorporate as much physical activity into our daily lives as we can! Thankfully there are many easy ways to increase your levels of activity that most people can include in their every day routine. Call Therafit today for more information about how you can increase your physical activity and lead a healthier life.

How Can I Increase My Physical Activity?

Below are seven great ways to add more physical activity into your routine.

  1. Bike Rides – Do you live in a rural area? If so, great! This is a wonderful opportunity to get your bike out of the garage and go for a spin. Even if you don’t live in a rural area, no worries. Lots of suburban/urban areas have bike trails and paths. Bike riding is a fun and easy way to get a good workout into your day.
  2. Adopt a Furry Pal – Getting a dog can keep you active and provide numerous health benefits, (especially if it’s a puppy, they have lots of energy and encourage you to get out and exercise with them!) If you own a dog already, make sure you’re walking your pet every day. The Mayo Clinic even suggests borrowing a dog if you don’t have one, so ask your friends if you can spend some time with Fido when they’re busy!
  3. Stairs Instead of Elevator – If you live in an apartment building or work in a high-rise building with tons of floors, you definitely have a good opportunity to get a work out in. Even if you only have a few flights to go, over time it’ll make a noticeable difference.If you’re coming back from lunch with a friend, tell them you’ll meet them at the top and then take the stairs!
  4. Park Farther Away – Do you run a lot of errands every week? Although it might seem like a great idea to find a spot as close to the front of the store as possible, parking in a spot far away provides an extra opportunity to get some walking in for the day.
  5. Sitting on the Floor – This is a great option for when you’re folding laundry, watching TV, or enjoying a book. Sitting on the floor isn’t just for kids! It can increase your activity level even as an adult, because you’ll find that you naturally stretch your limbs and move more to reach things while sitting on the floor.
  6. Swap Out Your Riding Lawn Mower – Using a push mower to cut your grass is a great way to get this chore accomplished while also getting in some daily activity. Strengthen those muscles!
  7. Stand Up – If you work sitting in front of a computer for most of the day, you should consider getting a standing desk that lets you stand up while you work. If you don’t have a standing desk, getting up and walking around every half hour to hour or so will really improve your overall level of physical activity.

How Do We Become Inactive?

There are few causes of inactivity, which can include everything from a busy schedule to a physical condition that prevents you from being as active as you should be. If you don’t engage in enough physical activity, you might struggle with weak muscle tone or aching joints. According to the Arthritis Foundation, the more inactive you’re being, the easier it is for you to become tired. There are lots of other physical ailments that come with inactivity, such as:

  • Weakened Bones
  • Hormonal Imbalance
  • Poor Blood Circulation
  • Increased Inflammation/Swelling

Make sure you’re getting enough activity in every day to avoid these issues!

Physical Therapy Can Help You Lead a More Active Lifestyle!

If you’re suffering from side effects of an inactive lifestyle, physical therapy could be the answer. A physical therapist can provide manual therapies that will not only increase your flexibility, but also improve your range of motion. They can also give you at-home exercises to do as well! Most likely, you will have a physical therapy program created especially for you and your needs.

If you want to lead a life without pain and stiffness, then it’s important to stay as active as possible. You want to keep your muscles, tendons, and joints flexible! Try adding a couple of the ways to exercise (listed above) to your daily routine to keep moving. Don’t forget, working with a licensed physical therapist can also help you stay fit and healthy! Contact Therafit today to find out how we can help you get back to an active lifestyle.

Get Your Hip and Knee Joints Moving Again with These 5 At-Home Exercises

Are your hips and knees feeling stiff, achy, or even painful? Noticing more discomfort in your joints when standing up and moving around? If so, you’re not alone.

This quarantine has taken a toll on many people’s bodies, as it has become much more difficult to maintain the same levels of physical activity at home. However, getting exercise is still very important – especially for your hips and knees!

Your hips and knees were made to move, and when we sit around without exercising them, they can lock up, become tight, and result in discomfort. You may be wondering how you can get the same workouts in your lower extremities without gym equipment – well, we’ve got you covered! Follow the exercises below for both relief and prevention for hip and knee pains – and, as always, if you have any questions about these exercises, don’t hesitate to call or message us.

5 exercises to stretch and strengthen the lower extremities

  • Hip Circles Hips bothering you while stuck at home? Try some Hip Circles! This easy-to-do exercise is exactly what it sounds like – simply lie on your side, raise your top leg and rotate your hip in a circular motion. Then, switch to the opposite direction. Begin by doing 3 reps of 10 with both legs – your hips will be feeling better in no time!

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/354635534/ed456c310a 

  • Straight Leg Raise. When stuck at home, sedentary tendencies can cause the knees and hips to lock up, resulting in pain. Get those joints moving again with a Straight Leg Raise. Simply lay flat on the ground and lift your legs until they are straight in the air at a 90 degree angle with the rest of your body. Repeat 3 reps of 10 for both legs. Bonus – this also works your abs!

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/253319361/385e6397da 

  • Hip External Rotation Stretch. This is a great stretch for targeting both your hip and knee joints. Begin by sitting on the floor with your feet straight out in front of you. Then, bend one knee across the opposite leg and push down on said knee with your hand – you should feel this stretch in both your hips and knees! Repeat these directions on both sides to get a full stretch.

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/396686977/03443a1dcc

  • Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch. If you are looking for a deep stretch, this is the one for you. Kneel on a mat or soft surface. Make sure you’re positioned so your right knee is straight up and the bottom of your right foot is flat on the floor. Extend your left leg behind you so the top of your left foot is flat on the floor. Begin to shift your weight forward and stop when you begin to feel the stretch in your hip. Hold for 30-45 seconds, then switch legs.

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/313249747/fc2b99416b 

  • Standing Hip Flex. This one will surely get your blood pumping! Begin by standing up straight and then lift your right knee up in a 90 degree angle in front of you. Then, rotate your leg sideways while keeping that same position by shifting your hip muscles. Hold this position and then slowly rotate your hips back to the front and place your foot back down, flat on the ground. Repeat these same instructions with your left knee, completing 3 reps of 10 on each side. 

Here is a video for your reference: https://vimeo.com/398211318/e408af2c5c

Questions?

Looking for more assistance with these exercises? No problem! If you have any questions about how to perform these exercises or add more into your daily routine, call or message Therafit at any time. We are here to help you remain active, safe, and healthy at home!

What’s the Difference Between Sprains and Strains?

It is a common misconception that “sprains” and “strains” are interchangeable terms. In reality, there are some key differences between the two. In order to understand how they differ, it is important to first understand what ligaments and tendons are.

Ligaments connect bones to bones within a joint, while tendons connect bones to muscles. When you experience a sprain, you are tearing or overstretching a ligament. Conversely, when you experience a strain, you are tearing or overstretching a tendon.

If you have recently sustained a sprain or strain, or you believe you may have, don’t hesitate to contact us to consult with a physical therapist. We’ll determine the best course of treatment for your needs and get you started on the road to recovery!

Treating sprains and strains:

Mild sprains and strains are often treated with the RICE technique: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. However, when the RICE technique doesn’t work, or if pain is unbearable and/or constant, it is in your best interest to visit a doctor. A doctor may take an X-ray to see if there are any breaks in the bone. If there are no breaks found, the diagnosis is usually a strain or sprain.

Physical therapy is an effective method for treating sprains and strains. No matter how you incurred your injury, our dedicated physical therapists can play a major role in your comeback. One of our licensed physical therapists will use a mix of passive and active treatments to reduce pain, improve strength, and increase coordination. Passive treatments may include massage, ice and heat therapies, electrical stimulation, or ultrasound. Active treatments include targeted stretches and exercises.

A very common type of ligament sprain is an ACL tear, which physical therapy has been proven successful in treating. It has also been proven successful in treating various other types of tears, such as those to the Achilles tendon or hamstring.

Common causes of sprains and strains:

The symptoms of a sprain and strain are much alike, due to the fact that the injuries are very similar in nature. You may experience swelling, muscle spasm, difficulty with range of motion, limited flexibility, or pain around the affected joint. However, there is one main difference in symptoms: with a sprain, you will usually present bruising around the affected joint, whereas this is not always the case with a sprain. Some of the most common causes of sustaining a sprain or strain include:

  • Prolonged repetitive motion.
  • Overexerting yourself.
  • Lifting heavy objects.
  • Slipping and falling.
  • Athletic activities.

There are also certain risk factors that may increase your chances of sustaining a sprain or strain, such as neglecting to warm up before exercising, using improper equipment, practicing improper techniques, being out of shape, or general fatigue.

Find relief for your sprain or strain today!

WebMD states, “Ankle injuries can happen to anyone at any age. However, men between 15 and 24 years old have higher rates of ankle sprain, compared to women older than age 30 who have higher rates than men. Half of all ankle sprains occur during an athletic activity. Every day in the U.S., 25,000 people sprain their ankle. And more than 1 million people visit emergency rooms each year because of ankle injuries. The most common ankle injuries are sprains and fractures, which involve ligaments and bones in the ankle. But you can also tear or strain a tendon.”

Is your sprain or strain limiting your daily life? Find relief with us. Our licensed physical therapists will conduct a comprehensive assessment to determine what the best course of treatment will be for you. Say goodbye to your pain today with physical therapy!

Sources:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sprains-and-strains/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20377943

https://medlineplus.gov/sprainsandstrains.html

Suffering from Sciatica Pains? Find Relief Today

Lumbar radiculopathy, commonly referred to as sciatica, is a common condition that many people experience. It occurs as a result of irritation to the sciatic nerve, which is the largest nerve of the body. It stretches from the lumbar spine through the buttocks, and pain from irritation is typically felt in the lower back. However, sciatica pain can also ensue in the buttocks, thigh, or lower limbs, which can pose challenges in mobility. Sciatica is commonly caused by a herniated disc; however, a back trauma or disc degeneration can also result in the condition.

Treating sciatica with physical therapy:

A physical therapist may use several types of treatments to reduce your sciatica pain and symptoms. Active treatments include motions, stretches, and specific exercises, aimed at reducing pain and accelerating healing. A physical therapist will also teach you different motions that you can do at home in order to manage your pain. If a physical therapist discovers any weak muscles, you will be given corrective exercises for core strengthening.

The strengthening exercises in your physical therapy treatments focus not only on the lower back, but also on the hip muscles, abdominal muscles, and glutes. All of the exercises you participate in will help strengthen the spinal column (including your tendons, ligaments, and supporting muscles) while also keeping the spine in proper alignment.

The stretching exercises in physical therapy target muscles that are inflexible and tight. Hamstring stretching is an important part of a physical therapy treatment program to alleviate sciatica. An aquatic exercise program may also be recommended by a physical therapist. You can do exercises easily with the buoyancy of water.

Passive treatments may include massage therapy, ice and heat therapies, electric therapy, or ultrasound. All of these different modalities help reduce pain, stimulate blood flow, and accelerate healing. Massage therapy is typically conducted for sciatica relief, as it helps alleviate sciatic nerve pain. It loosens up tight back muscles that may be pressing on the sciatic nerve, and it increases the release of endorphins for pain relief. Ice and heat therapies are also common, as they help ease pain, relax muscles, and reduce inflammation. Electrotherapy may also be applied, which uses electricity to also aid in reducing pain, strengthening muscles, ramping up circulation, and improving physical function.

Do you have sciatica?

Sciatica is diagnosed through a physical examination and an evaluation of medical history. A CT scan or MRI may be also be performed, in order to locate the root cause of sciatica. According to Move Forward PT, “Conservative care like physical therapy often results in better and faster results than surgery or pain medication.” Once you are diagnosed with sciatica, a physical therapist will work with you to manage and relieve the condition. This includes:

  • Increasing strength.
  • Improving motion.
  • Reducing sciatica pain.
  • Educating you on how to stand, bend, and twist.
  • Improving flexibility.
  • Returning to normal activities.

Schedule your consultation today:

If you are looking for an effective, safe, and non-invasive approach to sciatica treatment, physical therapy is your best option. PT treatments work to target the root of the problem by applying extensive assessments, in order to determine the best individualized treatment plan for every patient’s needs. These will be dependent upon the severity of each patient’s condition and will help to relieve pain and improve function.

Physical therapy is one of the most successful ways to treat sciatica. In addition to in-clinic treatments, your physical therapist will also provide you with targeted stretches and exercises you can do at home, in order to combat any sciatica pains you may feel in the future. Your risk of sciatica can be significantly reduced by practicing proper body mechanics, maintaining proper posture, and staying in shape, with the help of your physical therapist.

If you have been living with sciatica, or you think you may be experiencing sciatica symptoms, don’t hesitate to schedule your consultation today. Our licensed physical therapists will meet with you to perform a comprehensive exam that will help determine what the best treatment plan will be for you. Don’t let your sciatica pain dictate your life any longer – find relief today with physical therapy

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Treat Your Back and Neck Pain with Our Advanced PT Methods

Did you know that studies say approximately 90% of people will be plagued by back or neck pain at some point in their lives? While it is a common complaint, it can sometimes be difficult to determine where the pain is originating on your own.

Sometimes pain in one area can travel to another part of the body. For example, if your pain is originating in your back or neck, it can sometimes also be felt in the head, arms, or legs. As pain progresses, it is possible for it to travel further from where it is rooted. Fortunately, physical therapy can help you manage your pain, and in many cases, eliminate it altogether. To find our how our advanced physical therapy methods can benefit you, contact our office today.

The benefits of physical therapy:

Physical therapy for back pain and neck pain is focused on the structures that support the spine. This includes the tendons, ligaments, muscles, and joints. Your treatment will include both active and passive forms of physical therapy, in order to achieve optimum relief, function, and injury prevention for the future.

Active physical therapy for neck and back pain typically includes specific exercises, stretches, adjustments, in order to manage or relieve your pain altogether. In some cases, aquatic therapy may be recommended, as the buoyancy of water takes pressure off of the cervical and lumbar spine while you’re performing the exercises.

Passive physical therapy includes different modalities, such as massage therapy,  ice and heat therapies, ultrasound, or electrotherapy. Massage therapy is used to reduce pain and relax the muscles. Ice or heat therapies help to reduce swelling and pain, in addition to increasing blood flow for healing. With electrotherapy, electrical impulses are sent to the sensory nerves, in order to alter pain signals. It’s a mildly warm sensation that reduces pain and relaxes muscles.

How can I get started?

Before your physical therapy treatments even start, a physical therapist will perform an examination to determine the root cause of your back or neck pain. A strength test will be performed and a goniometer may be used to measure your range of motion. You will be asked to perform certain tasks in order to determine your functional mobility.

Spinal mobility will be also measured through palpation, in order to locate sore or tight muscles. Your full medical history will be evaluated, in addition to your symptoms, in order to determine the nature and severity of your condition. Once your examination is complete, your physical therapist will design a personalized treatment plan that will target the cause of your back or neck pain and focus on providing relief.

What will my treatment plan look like?

There are several different causes of back and neck pain, which is why our dedicated physical therapists take the time to design an individualized treatment plan for each patient. Some of the most common conditions leading to back and neck pain are:

  • Sprains and strains. It’s not uncommon for athletes to incur sprains and strains to the neck or back regions when engaging in sports.
  • Sudden traumas or injuries. Sudden damage to the neck or back, such as a sports collision or whiplash, may result in back or neck pain.
  • Improper posture. Poor posture can cause unnecessary strains on the back and neck, resulting in pain and discomfort.
  • Disc herniation. A herniated disc occurs when the gel-like material of the disc bulges or leaks out.
  • Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the “wear and tear” on the facet joints, which causes friction when bending. This can also result in a pinched nerve root, which can cause sciatica.
  • Degenerative disc disease. Degenerative disc disease occurs when there is “wear and tear” on the spinal discs.

Whatever the cause of your back or neck pain may be, physical therapy can help. If you’ve been limited by pain, contact our office today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced and caring physical therapists. Don’t let your pain dictate your life – seek treatment today to relieve your condition and live comfortably once again!

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Are You Experiencing One of These 5 Common Shoulder Injuries? Find Relief With PT

Physical therapy is used to treat any sports injury, workplace injury, or musculoskeletal condition you may be experiencing. It is a natural, safe, and effective way to treat both acute and chronic pain.

One of the most common reasons people seek the help of a physical therapist is to manage chronic shoulder pain. There are a number of different reasons why shoulder pain may occur, and it can greatly limit your everyday life. If you have been experiencing shoulder pain, or decreased function within your shoulder, don’t hesitate to contact our office today.

5 of the most common shoulder injuries:

The average person probably doesn’t give much thought to their shoulders as they go about their day. However, your shoulders actually do quite a lot of work to help you complete everyday tasks, and if they become strained or injured, you could be left experience severe shoulder pain. Some of the most common causes of shoulder pain include:

1. Tendon tears

The tendons in your shoulder can tear as the result of an acute injury or certain degenerative conditions. The natural aging process, sudden injuries, and overuse often cause the tendons to split or tear. Whether a patient is experiencing a partial or a full tendon tear, the pain can be extremely intense and it may require regular appointments with a skilled physical therapist.

2. Bursitis

The shoulder is a complicated joint that is made up of an intricate network of moving parts. One of the key components that make up the shoulder is called bursa. The bursa contains tiny sacs of fluid that work to keep the shoulder joint lubricated. If the bursa becomes irritated or inflamed, you can develop bursitis, and you will need to schedule a physical therapy appointment as soon as possible.

3. Tendinitis

Tendinitis is a common condition that causes inflammation in the shoulder area, and it has been known to send many people straight to a physical therapist in order to find relief. The condition typically affects those who are physically active or people who work at a job that requires them to complete repetitive motions. For example, if you’re an athlete who plays tennis, or if you work as a professional painter, you could be at risk of developing tendinitis in your shoulder. If you are at a high risk of developing tendinitis, it is important to remember that along with physical therapy, resting your shoulders regularly can help to prevent chronic pain.

4. Frozen shoulder

Frozen shoulder typically occurs after an injury or alongside another shoulder condition. Most physical therapists recommend that patients with frozen shoulder get plenty of rest in-between physical therapy appointments, in order to avoid developing scar tissue in the shoulder. If scar tissue does develop, the muscles surrounding the shoulder could eventually freeze up as well, restricting your full range of motion and resulting in chronic pain.

5. Impingement

Shoulder impingement can occur when the top part of the shoulder blade puts excessive pressure on the underlying soft tissues in the arm when it is lifted away from the body. As the arm lifts, the shoulder blade rubs against the tendons and bursa. If left untreated, impingement in the shoulder can result in bursitis and/or tendinitis.

Schedule a consultation with us today:

If you have sustained one of the injuries above, or if you’re looking for assistance with a difference shoulder pain condition, contact us today to schedule a consultation. Physical therapy is the ideal way to treat shoulder pain in people of all ages. Our dedicated physical therapists will address your condition and design the best treatment plan for your specific needs!

Sources:

Reducing Inflammation with the Right Nutritional Fuels

Does your daily life revolve around chronic pain or inflammation? While this is a common everyday roadblock that many people experience, there are actually some simple ways to avoid it. It is no secret that exercise is a crucial part of any physical therapy regimen, but fueling your body with nutritional meals also plays an important role.

Everything you eat works to fuel your body and eating the right foods can help you recover much quicker from painful or uncomfortable conditions. The three main ingredients that work together to help reduce your pain and inflammation include 1) exercising regularly, 2) decreasing your amount of stress, and 3) maintaining a strict nutritional diet. To learn more about how nutrition can help you live a happier and healthier life, contact our Hazel Green or Fayetteville office today!

Why am I experiencing inflammation?

Inflammation is your body’s natural response to injury, ailment, or some other sort of harm. For example, if you have sustained an injury, wound, infection, tissue damage, or buildup of toxins in your body, your immune response will be triggered to deal with it. In many cases, inflammation is actually a good thing – without it, injuries would never heal. However, too much inflammation is unhealthy, and if the healing process continues for too long, chronic inflammation can occur.

Chronic inflammation can pose some serious health risks, as it can lead to diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, or even some cancers. If you have been experiencing persistent pain, it is in your best interest to consult with a physical therapist as soon as possible, in order to treat any chronic inflammation that may be occurring.

Avoiding chronic inflammation through your diet:

While it is still recommended to seek the help of a physical therapist, there are some easy ways you can turn around your inflammation symptoms on your own – such as adopting an anti-inflammatory diet policy.  Inflammation is your body’s way of trying to heal, which can be accelerated through a nutritional diet that complements the removal of toxins.

The three basic components of an anti-inflammatory diet are:

1. Veggies!

The best vegetable options for maintaining an anti-inflammatory diet include cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower. Raw vegetables tend to work better at speeding up the healing process, but it is perfectly fine to cook them if you prefer them that way. Most nutritionists recommend nine servings of vegetables a day for an anti-inflammatory diet; however, it is okay to substitute fruits for a couple of those servings if the veggies become too much.

2. Fewer grains and dairy

Avoiding simple carbs and sugars will help in strengthening your body’s immune response. Unfortunately, this means saying goodbye to pastries, donuts, and white bread. It is also important to try and limit dairy products as much as possible, so try to stray away from cheese or milk. The best grains for an anti-inflammatory diet are wheat, barley, brown rice, and oats.

3. No red meat

Avoiding red meat altogether is best when practicing an anti-inflammatory diet. If this becomes too difficult, red meat is okay in small doses – but it should be an extremely rare treat in your diet. Your kidneys work extra hard to process the proteins found in red meat, which ultimately slows down the body’s natural healing process. It is okay to have one small piece of steak, one time per week, but you should try not to exceed that limit. Fortunately, chicken and fish are perfectly fine sources of protein in an anti-inflammatory diet – and you can enjoy them with all your vegetable servings!

What else can I do?

Following the anti-inflammatory diet tips above should help in quickly reducing your pain and inflammation symptoms. In addition to your diet, a few more ways you can fight inflammation on your own include:

  • Daily exercise. Exercising regularly helps in keeping the muscles warm, which can alleviate pain, stiffness, and inflammation.
  • Weight loss. If you have some unwanted weight, getting down to your ideal body weight will help with your pain and inflammation.
  • Stress management. Mental stress can cause physical stress on the body – causing more inflammation and a longer recovery rate. Taking time to relax can actually allow you to heal quicker!

To schedule a consultation with one of our licensed physical therapists, contact TheraFit Physical Therapy today. We’ll design a treatment plan for you to ease your pain and inflammation, and we will provide additional advice on how you can live a healthier lifestyle overall!

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